Reinterpreting the bay window: Private residence in Gent
Architecture: Miass Architectuur,
Steven Vandenborre Architecten
Location: Abeelstraat 8a, Gent (BE)
Jeremias Sys had the garage torn down with the exception of the ground floor, which he retained to form the base of the new family home. The new building puts the available height at the narrow site to maximum use to result in four storeys altogether. To compensate for the poor bearing capacity of the soil, the architect opted for a lightweight building structure made up of slender steel posts and HEB beams, complemented with wooden beams on the horizontal slab level.
The ingeniously designed glass facades on the three residential storeys contrast with the building's solid base, which now presents itself in a uniform black hue. The fully glazed windows playfully project outward a little at alternating angles, and can thus be seen as a modern interpretation of the classical bay window.
On the outside, the angled windows provide the façade a subtle effect of spatial depth; on the inside they frame various outward perspectives. Seen in the elevation view, the full-height panes, the projecting corners with their horizontal, glued joints and the scarcely visible frames merge with the façade's aluminium-clad outer edges and horizontal ledges. Sliding windows can be opened to transform the living room and one of the bedrooms into semi-open loggias.